It's back, ready to slap you in the face until you cry for more.
The Dissident might be Deschutes most flavorful reserve, and it's finally back after conspicuously missing the '09 lineup. It has not reached its "best after" date yet, and I'm still storing up my bottles, but thankfully Hill's has it on tap, meaning you can grab a pint for $6.50 during happy hour. (A 22oz bomber will run you north of $10.)
This is pretty dang flavorful, and compared to the '08 edition, more sweet than sour. I suspect more of a balance will be noticeable after aging, but for now, the Dissident is all about the cherry.
The color has a reddish orange-y color, different from any beer I can think of. It almost looks like someone put a bit of red dye in it. Very Christmas-y. Anyway! One whiff and the cherry hits you. Not in a bad way, but it's obvious that this will be flavorful.
And it is. Slightly tart and sweet, this does taste like the perfect marriage of beer and cherry. "Feminine," I'm sure it will be described as by some, and at 10.5% ABV it's definitely a lady with a punch. The finish is a good and dry, and it's very drinkable. Well brewed.
Would I grab more than one pint of it during a night out? No. The sweetness of the cherry is still a bit overwhelming, and I miss the sourness of the '08 version. 10.5% ABV is obviously also pretty crazy.
Still, props to Hill's for not just getting this on tap, but also for serving it at a good temperature. Any ale head should run down and try it, and also pick up a few bottles from Rocket or Huckleberry's or whatever.
Drinking the Dissident will be a process. I'm ready to crack open a bottle early for comparison purposes, in addition to one (or more) after the "best after" date. At some point I will revisit it here, and entertain you all with tales of how it aged.
PS: The Abyss 2010 should be in stores any day now. This is an event comprable to a large national holiday.